Updated: Jul 24, 2019
It's much like playing a round of golf with the greatest golfer in the world. Imagine you are playing a round against my friend and mentor Jack Nicklaus during his prime. As you stand on the first tee, you both have the same shot to hit even though his skill level is immensely greater than yours. He will tee off and hit his golf ball 300 yards down the middle of the fairway. You, being an amateur golfer and feeling intimidated playing against the greatest golfer that ever lived, will try to hit it as far as Mr. Nicklaus and likely slice your tee shot 137 yards down a ravine into the deep rough with an impenetrable line of trees obscuring your next shot.
Mr. Nicklaus now has the advantage-both in skill and conditions-for his second shot. He is standing on level ground with a smooth, manicured carpet of grass from which to hit his short iron onto the green. You are forced to stand on unlevel ground as you try to hack your ball out of a hayfield while avoiding the trees in front of you. The shot you are facing would actually be difficult for Mr. Nicklaus to make. If you simply chip your ball out into the fairway and try to get your game back on track, you might have a chance, but most amateur golfers will make another bad decision and try to hit the ball out of the rough, through the ravine, and over the trees.
Since you couldn't hit the ball straight when you were on the tee, the odds of doing it under these conditions are insurmountable. You will invariably slice the ball off one of the tree trunks, causing it to be buried even deeper in the dense rough. As Mr. Nicklaus's second shot is an easy pitch to the green where his ball softly lands and rolls next to the hole for his birdie putt, you are praying to just find your golf ball realizing it's going to take you more strokes to get to the hole than it should have taken you from the tee.
Your poor play and poor decisions have put you in worse position than when you started.
Decisions should be made based on principles, not on the current situation. Situations change from moment to moment while great principles remain timeless. If you get in the habit of making good decisions, you will find it even easier to make great choices in the future. But if you make bad decisions today, you will likely narrow your options and be forced to suffer with bad decisions tomorrow.
As you go through your day today, build a foundation of great decisions, and you will enjoy success.
Today's the day!